If there is no wind, just blow

Opportunities are there to be created. Entrepreneurship is not like sailing – if there is no wind, just blow.

Seth Godin, The Dip

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Doing our part, uprooting the evil in the fields we know

It is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succor of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till. What weather they shall have is not ours to rule.

J. R. R. Tolkien, The Return of the King, New York: Ballantine Books, 1965, p. 190.

Let us prove our minds are set on beauty and true excellence

Let the people bring out their talents, and have the variety within them brought forth and made manifest so that we can behold it, like the variety in the works of nature. See the variety God has created—no two trees alike, no two leaves, no two spears of grass alike. The same variety that we see in all the works of God, that we see in the features, visages and forms, exists in the spirits of men. Now let us develop the variety within us, and show to the world that we have talent and taste, and prove to the heavens that our minds are set on beauty and true excellence, so that we can become worthy to enjoy the society of angels, and raise ourselves above the level of the wicked world and begin to increase in faith, and the power that God has given us, and to show to the world an example worthy of imitation.

Brigham Young, Journals of Discourses, 11:305

Replacing portrayals and performances that are depressing, demeaning, and destructive

Dallin H. OaksPresident Brigham Young (1801–1877) gave us some practical advice on how to recognize Him whom we follow. “The difference between God and the Devil,” he said, “is that God creates and organizes, while the whole study of the Devil is to destroy.” In that contrast we have an important example of the reality of “opposition in all things” (2 Nephi 2:11). Remember that our Savior Jesus Christ always builds us up and never tears us down. We should apply the power of that example in the ways we use our time, including our recreation and our diversions. Consider the themes of the books, magazines, movies, television shows, and music we in the world have made popular by our patronage. Do the things portrayed in our chosen entertainment build up or tear down the children of God? During my lifetime I have seen a strong trend to set aside entertainment that builds up and dignifies the children of God and to replace it with portrayals and performances that are depressing, demeaning, and destructive. The powerful idea in this contrast is that whatever builds people up serves the cause of the Master, and whatever tears people down serves the cause of the adversary. We support one cause or the other every day by our patronage and by our thoughts and desires. This should remind us of our responsibility to support what is good and motivate us toward doing this in a way that will be pleasing to Him whose suffering offers us hope and whose example gives us direction.

Dallin H. Oaks, “The Atonement and  Faith,” Ensign,  April 2010

See also, Dallin H. Oaks, “Powerful Ideas,” October 1995 General Conference

Burnishing more brightly the Savior’s name

As His followers, we cannot do a mean or shoddy or ungracious thing without tarnishing His image. Nor can we do a good and gracious and generous act without burnishing more brightly the symbol of Him whose name we have taken upon ourselves. And so our lives must become a meaningful expression, the symbol of our declaration of our testimony of the Living Christ, the Eternal Son of the Living God.

Gordon B. Hinckley, “The Symbol of Our Faith,” Ensign, April 2005

Rededicating ourselves to Christ, over and over and over

The Lord has said, “I am the Almighty.” “I am Jesus Christ.” “I am Jehovah.” He is the one we worship. We sing about him in nearly every song. We pray about him in all our prayers. We talk about him in all our meetings. We love him, and we adore him. And we promise and rededicate ourselves over and over and over that we will from this moment forth live nearer to him and to his promises and to the blessings which he has given us.

Spencer W. Kimball, “The Privilege of Holding the Priesthood,” October General Conference, 1975